A 13-year-old, Jocelyn Yong of Subang Jaya, finds her relationship with her father blossomed during the Movement Control Order after interviewing him for this article.
Fathers are superheroes from the bottom of their children’s hearts. My father, Alex Yong, who just turned 46 in June this year, is one such wonderful father to me. Together with my mother, Iris Chai, 42, they have raised me and my two siblings, Josephine, 11,and Jessica, 8.
My father is a typical Chinese gentleman who was born and raised in a farming family in Sarawak. As a child, he carried on his shoulder a huge responsibility to keep an eye on his five other siblings who were younger than him. Besides having to help his family with the farm work, he had to also focus on his studies.
“Coming from a low-income family did not stop me from being successful,” he said. “Instead, it was where we learnt to be more independent compared to our peers.”
Despite several hardships, my father had done very well in his studies. At the young age of 20, he earned the offer to further his studies at the ivory tower of an academic institution. He left with joy when he heard the good news, as it was totally unexpected.
He had the most shocking moments in his entire life during his maiden flight to Kuala Lumpur to further his studies. Flying on a Fokker plane turned out to be a nightmare for him. It was raining like cats and dogs, followed by flashes of lightning and roars of thunder during the flight in the twilight hours.
He sat there in his seat, feeling tensed when the pilot announced over the passenger address system. “This is an emergency warning. We are now going through turbulent weather. Please remain seated and fasten your seat belts.” Father detected a hint of panic in the pilot’s voice.
The plane hit an air pocket, and within minutes, everything turned upside down. The plane shook hard like a washing machine as the plane wobbled through the storm for the next 30 minutes.
Everyone was in a state of helplessness. Would the plane go down at any moment? A few passengers were screaming frantically. Tears rolled down their cheeks as they knew they could do nothing about the situation. A miracle was all that they could pray for!
“My mind went blank when everything in the plane was simply chaotic,” Father said. “It was like death staring at your face!”
For some reason, the pilot managed to overcome the drag force caused by the air current without bringing any injuries to the passengers. Everyone in the plane cried in relief when the pilot gave an update.
“Till today, I am still thankful to God for preserving my life,” Father told me. “If not for Him, we may have been in pieces! Through the years at Segi University, God has been faithful.”
Father’s determination and hard work had helped him to be successful with his studies. He won many academic awards as a foreign student. Apart from that, he received recognition from his university for completing his accountancy course with flying colours and became a qualified and professional accountant at the age of 23.
It was here at the university that Father met my mother. They were serving the Lord in the same church. The love relationship blossomed even when they were still in their First Year. “It was not a smooth-sailing relationship though,” Father told me. “We had gone through bittersweet moments together. It was only after that, we found that we had the right click. In 2006, we decided to tie the knot.” They were blessed with a bundle of joy a year after their marriage. They name me Jocelyn Yong. Now, 13, I am beginning to appreciate my father a lot more after knowing what he went through.
During the Movement Control Order, I discovered Father more. The greatest desire in his life, as he puts it, “is to live a simple but healthy and happy life.”
With the number of cases of Covid-19, and which is still surging high, the trend is worrying. During this pandemic, my father acts as a front-liner in our family, who holds the responsibility to go out for our daily needs. He also emphasizes the importance of our personal hygiene, as it plays an important role for us to protect ourselves from infection. I know he cares for the family.
Besides, he is a patient and warm-hearted counsellor to us. He encourages us to manage and deal with anxiety triggers. He guides us and helps to sail through the challenging moments together.
Father has always shared his joy with us, his loved ones. I love the beaming smile on his face all day long. That’s my father, Alex Yong.
NOTE: Some pictures used are only for illustrative purposes.
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